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Additional measures defined to bolster social and medical protection of the population

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On March 26, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev chaired a videoconference session to discuss efforts designed to contain the spread of coronavirus infection in Uzbekistan.

The pandemic has already exerted considerable negative impact on the global economy. However, the bitter experience of countries that put economic interests above the health of the population shows how wrong that path is.

In this regard, all the forces and means in our country have been mobilized to prevent the wide spread of the virus and treat those infected with it.

In particular, in order to provide qualified medical assistance to quarantined citizens, a quarantine zone for 10 thousand beds is being built in the Urtachirchik district of the Tashkent region.

Two infectious diseases hospitals with 5,000 beds in total are also being erected in the region. In the coming days, the first block with a thousand beds will be commissioned.

In addition, the equipment of modular clinics for a thousand beds each, as well as quarantine points, has begun in Surkhandarya, Namangan and Navoi regions.

The meeting participants identified additional measures to strengthen the social and medical protection of the population.

The ministries of health and finance were instructed to purchase 300,000 express tests and 500 mechanical ventilation devices as well as mobile laboratories in populated areas with a high risk of virus contamination.

The President instructed the executives to provide practical assistance to doctors, invite specialists from abroad for advanced training, and increase the production of medical masks up to 5 million pieces a day.

Shavkat Mirziyoyev recommended that government bodies and social organizations send at least 50 percent of personnel on paid leave, while transferring the remaining ones to distance working.

Persons over 60 and suffering from chronic diseases are advised not to leave their homes; all workers in this category should be sent on vacation, it was noted at the meeting.

The head of our state stressed the importance of forming volunteer squads from among students of medical and military education institutions, arranging the delivery of food, hygiene products and medicines for single elderly as well as families without a breadwinner, and also in remote areas.

An instruction has been given to exempt drugs, substances, medical equipment and other necessary goods imported into the country from customs duties and value added tax.

Measures are being taken to mitigate the impact of the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic on economic sectors. Many privileges and preferences for this were introduced by the March 19 presidential decree.

At the meeting, the head of state noted the need to provide business with even more amenities.

It was emphasized that the increased rates of property tax and land tax on unused facilities of entrepreneurs will not be applied up to October 1. Nor will enterprises facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic be declared bankrupt until November 1. During the quarantine period, business entities will not be charged rent for more than 3.6 thousand objects of public property. In the meantime, the period for fulfilling investment obligations on all projects is extended by 6 months.

In addition, the suspension of the bank account of entrepreneurs during the lockdown period is prohibited. The licensing of services for the delivery and transportation of goods is temporarily discontinued.

Particular attention was paid to raising incomes and reducing poverty by stimulating the creation of new jobs. The Ministry of Economy and Industry was said to be transformed into the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, and its key tasks to be redefined.

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